The kidneys are incredible organs responsible for maintaining overall fluid balance in the body, regulating and filtering minerals from the blood, and excreting wastes and toxins. Just like every other major organ in the body, it also needs proper care and attention. Poor renal health care lead to complications such as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), development of kidney stones, and failure of other organs like the heart. Chronic damage to the kidneys is irreversible and requires dialysis or organ transplant.
Prevention is always better than cure. There are numerous ways to prevent kidney damage, but the easiest way to avert this is by keeping a healthy and balanced diet. Limiting your intake of certain foods will significantly lower your chance of developing risk factors.
Stay Away From Salty Food
Salty food contains high amounts of sodium, the mineral responsible for maintaining proper blood volume and pressure. It does this by attracting and retaining water in the body. The kidney’s role is to draw out the excess water from the bloodstream and excrete it from the body.
Increased amount of salt in the body leads to hypertension, the second leading cause of kidney failure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure causes arteries to weaken and become narrow. These damaged arteries are unable to deliver enough blood to the kidneys, eventually causing kidney failure.
High amounts of salt in the body also increases the risk of forming kidney stones. When sodium in the body increases, so does the amount of urinary calcium, the main component of kidney stones.
Control Your Intake of Sugary Beverages
Salty food is not the sole cause of kidney stone development. Consuming beverages with high levels of fructose is also correlated to an increased risk of forming kidney stones. Fructose can be found in table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, both of which are highly present in soda and other carbonated beverages. With too much sugar in the body, urine calcium increases and urine volume decreases, which might lead to the formation of stones. Furthermore, excess sugar intake can lead to the development of diabetes, which is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease.
A lot of studies have been published on the negative effects of like sugary carbonated drinks on one’s health, linking it to obesity and diabetes. Unknown to many, this also has adverse effects on the kidneys. Regular intake of carbonated drinks leads to a decline in the organ’s function, which might result in the development of stones. Cola beverages contain phosphoric acid, a compound associated with urinary changes (lower urine volume) that lead to kidney stone formation.
Regulate the Red Meat
An essential part of a healthy, well-balanced diet is animal protein. It is the building block of the body as every cell relies on it for structural and functional purposes. It also regulates certain activity in certain organs. That’s why it’s good to consume red meat such as beef, lamb, and pork. These are good sources of animal protein. However, over time, these can generate high amounts of acid in the blood, which lead to acidosis, the condition in which the kidneys are unable to eliminate acid from the blood quickly and efficiently. People who have Chronic Kidney Disease are prescribed to follow a low-protein diet.
When planning out meals, dieticians and doctors recommend following “Pinggang Pinoy” as a model. It divides the plate into four parts: vegetables filling half the plate, carbohydrates occupying one-fourth, and meat or fish for the remaining space. This meal plan, partnered with one cup of fruit for each meal, ensures every meal is healthy, nutritious, and well-balanced.
In addition to a well-balanced diet, drinking enough water daily also helps in having healthy kidneys. Drinking eight glasses of water every day is a good practice. If you can, always try to drink more to makes sure you stay well hydrated throughout your day.
Keeping a healthy diet is just the start of taking care of your kidneys. If this is not enough and you think you might be experiencing symptoms of unhealthy kidneys, schedule an appointment with a specialist at ManilaMed immediately. ManilaMed boasts of excellent renal care facilities with professional nephrologists and dieticians who can help with your kidney problems. Visit www.manilamed.com.ph or call 523-8131 to book an appointment.